Toshiba says that 3D photocopying in your own home could become a reality in the very near future.
The research team at Toshiba Research Europe’s Cambridge Research Laboratory are developing technology that should see consumers making their own 3D photocopies with "ordinary" kit.
Rather than hardware, the innovation is down to software installed on a PC that uses pictures taken with a normal digital camera.
The system creates what's said to be a highly accurate 3D model from photos when the object has been shot from several different angles on a highly patterned background surface such as a newspaper.
The 3D photocopier software installed on the PC then automatically calibrates the camera position of each image and renders the photocopy in 3D.
Once the 3D photocopy is created, the consumer can spin the object around and look at it from different angles.
Professor Roberto Cipolla, managing director at Toshiba’s Cambridge Research Laboratory said:
"Using this technology, consumers will soon be able to create a 3D photocopy in their own home, something which a few years ago was the stuff of fantasy. At CRL, our research is cutting-edge but it is also vital that the research can be translated into real-life applications."